The Axe Falls

I've just woken up to discover that Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard have been dropped by England for the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington. In Harmison's case it was expected, but I'm surprised about Hoggard. He bowled poorly in Hamilton but he was among England's better bowlers in Sri Lanka before Christmas and has been hampered more by injury over the last year than poor form.

With the dropping of Jonny Wilkinson from the England rugby union team for the first time since 1999 yesterday there's the obvious feeling of eras ending.

This may or may not be true; at this point in time I'll be surprised if Hoggard isn't back in the side and bowling well before long, but I'm much less sure about Wilkinson and Harmison.

Time will tell.


Anonymous said...

Hi Brian, Harmison has been lucky to survive this long. Bowling 80mph?! I agree Hoggard (under rated grossly by many) will be back. I think there's a dearth of quality coming through without FLintoff and Jones of yesteryear. Can't get excited about Anderson or Broad but time will tell. A recall for Caddick perhaps!?

Brian Carpenter said...

Cheers, John, no disagreement from me there. It's been sad to see the way Harmison's career has gone but I think he's always been a bit mentally and athletically frail to be a consistent success at the very top level. He needs a hell of a lot of bowling to find his rhythm and he usually gives the impression of not really wanting to be there enough.

I'm very keen on Broad, although I think it's a bit early for him really. I'll be surprised if he isn't a very serious contender in the long run and he should be able to bat well enough to be at least a decent number eight, something we certainly don't have now.

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